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Publisher's Summary

A Face Like Glass is an astonishing and imaginative novel from the Costa Award-winning author of The Lie Tree, Frances Hardinge.

In the underground city of Caverna, the world's most skilled craftsmen toil in the darkness to create delicacies beyond compare - wines that can remove memories, cheeses that can make you hallucinate, and perfumes that convince you to trust the wearer, even as they slit your throat. The people of Caverna are more ordinary, but for one thing: their faces are as blank as untouched snow. Expressions must be learned, and only the famous Facesmiths can teach a person to show (or fake) joy, despair, or fear - at a price.

Into this dark and distrustful world comes Neverfell, a little girl with no memory of her past and a face so terrifying to those around her that she must wear a mask at all times. For Neverfell's emotions are as obvious on her face as those of the most skilled Facesmiths, though entirely genuine. And that makes her very dangerous indeed.

©2012 Frances Hardinge (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Narrator Kevin T. Collins's style is affecting as he delivers this engaging novel, which is rich with backstories. When Cheesemaster Grandible finds Neverfell, a 5-year-old human, in a cheese vat, he's as shocked as she is. The contrast between grumpy, reclusive Grandible and his young adoptee is perfectly rendered by Collins. They live in Caverna, an underground city where babies are born without facial expressions, which must be taught by 'facesmiths.' The wealthy have only the best of everything, for example, wine that erases memories and cheese that reveals the future, which the drudges must supply. Listeners will be transported to Caverna by Collins's vivid descriptions of the strange place and even more peculiar people. After seven years, Neverfell's maturity is audible as she observes the inequality that surrounds her when she leaves the safety of Grandible's home. Her fear will be shared by listeners as she realizes that she's in danger because of her expressive face. The touching epilogue brings a satisfying conclusion." (AudioFile Magazine)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Terrific narrator and story!

Gets exponentially better as it goes, and with issues like that of real life. I love the author and wish that she was better known.😁

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wrong narrator for the text

Would you try another book from Frances Hardinge and/or Kevin T. Collins?

Yes, I like Hanrdinge's writing.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Face Like Glass?

Original story.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The book needed a female narrator. Why on earth the publishers decided on a male narrator is utterly beyond me. A male voice actively detracted from the story for me. I ended up reading the last third of the book in print because I found the narration so distracting and ineffective.

Any additional comments?

Based on the narration, I cannot recommend this excellent text as an audiobook. Nothing wrong with the narrator--he was just woefully miscast for this book.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely Magical!!

One of the best stories I have ever read! The ending was so beautifully written!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The narrator is off putting

Would you try another book from Frances Hardinge and/or Kevin T. Collins?

I would buy a book from the author. I have read all of the books she has published so far and love them. I would NOT buy another book read by Kevin T. Collins without listening to a sample first. This is the first time I've listened to a book read by him and it was awful. He spoke in a breathy rush, adding an overwrought edge to every line of dialogue. It was incredibly unpleasant to listen to. I actually stopped listening an hour into the book and bought the kindle version instead to finish it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

really fun story, funny and exciting.

main character is enduring and brave. the story is full of clever ideas that keep your imagination spinning. the plot twists and is a happy story after all.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A repeated delight and all encompassing.

A Face like glass does a masterful job of expertly dissolving reality around you and inviting you to a comfortable trip into Caverna. This town is do multi-layers with desirable and despicable characters. Death comes smoothly for many, slips by most and is wielded with suave expertly unfolded by the narrator. If this was read by anyone else it would have fallen flat. The narration keep this book alive in your heart long, long after the epilogue. Do yourself a favor and embrace a Face Like Glass. Should be on a required reading list. So complex, so much to discuss about life, society, the valuation of people, assumptions etc.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Best fiction I've ever read.

The language was so unconventional but so understandable. The story was delightful! The experience was great for kids and adults alike.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Truly original story

Stick with this story. The twists and turns come fast. Once you accept the premise (underground people whose faces are incapable of natural expressions) , you are hooked. Recommended!

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

oh my boring

It was a struggle to finish. I feel like I should have read it before listening to it because the narrator bored me to sleep.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

I love the reader 👌👌👌

The performance was amazing. Good job to the reader, I could listen to him all day.